Oh, the joys of motherhood!
The ups the downs and the everlasting need to make sure that you are doing the best that you can to ensure your children are safe and happy.
Before I had children I though I had a pretty good idea about what motherhood entailed.
After all, I am the oldest of 6 children who also worked with kids all throughout high school and college.
In addition, I became a nurse at the age of 21 which allowed me to care for children and learn about them at a professional level.
That would have given me some sense of motherhood, right?
I knew that there was so much more to motherhood that I did not yet comprehend, but the extent of it caught me by utter surprise.
No motherhood book you read and nothing anyone tells you will be able to ever come remotely close to your own motherhood experience.
Here is a list of a few things I’ve gathered throughout my motherhood years that no one could have prepared me for.
10 Things about Motherhood No One Can Prepare You For
1. You will never use the bathroom alone again
Well, maybe not ever, but for a long while.
Having a toddler sing the ABC’s on a bathroom step tool as I use the toilet has become the norm around my house.
When you take a leap into motherhood private space lines blur quickly.
2. Disappointment is an understatement
It is a mother’s nature to want to perfect her craft.
However, because motherhood is ever-changing we often feel as if we failed in some way.
Not realizing in the process that our wins as mothers shouldn’t be attached to society standards but the ones we set as our own.
Dictated by our own individual circumstances and the individual needs of our children.
3. There isn’t a rule book
I’m sure you have heard the phrase “babies aren’t born with a manual”. Well, motherhood doesn’t have one either.
No one can truly prepare you for what your motherhood journey will entail.
All we can do is live it, own it, and cherish it. For it is precious in is rawest form.
4. Learn to pick your battles
Our initial mother instinct is to want to tackle every single task that comes our way.
However, you will quickly realize that not all tasks require the same energy, and some tasks we can even learn to pass on.
Tackling everything, perfecting everything, and being in control of everything is a false expectation that can get you in a deep emotional and physical hole.
I didn’t understand much of the “pick your battles” concept until my second child was born.
With so much to do and so little time I’ve now learned to prioritize and to say “no” to those things that don’t contribute to the bigger picture.
5. Expectations are what you make of them
I have always had a type A personality. I have put high expectation on myself and ensure to meet those expectations at all costs.
Before I had children, I used to keep an agenda of all my daily/weekly/monthly task. Then, I would tackle those things accordingly.
Well, let’s just say things have changed a bit since then.
Although I still have my monthly planner and I still plan on meeting each goal, my expectations have changed.
Learning to be more flexible and less harsh on myself has been an ongoing process that no one could have prepared me for.
Go with the flow has been my recent motto.
Learning to perform your daily tasks using your means and adapting to your current circumstances removes unrealistic expectations and reduces stress and disappointments.
As I was writing the outline for this article in the play mat of our family room, my daughter was climbing on my back performing a choke-hold. It was taught to her by my husband who insists in teaching her self-defense. She just turned 2!
If my expectations would have been to finish the outline within a certain timeline and in a specific environment, the outline would have never been completed.
6. Taking showers are a privilege
Taking showers are currently one of my most treasured possessions.
Yes, yes… I take then daily, barely!
It is incredible all the things we take for granted before we have children.
Daily necessities can sometimes become big, orchestrated tasks in motherhood.
Things as simple as sitting down to have dinner, taking a shower, or using the bathroom.
Having to make time in my day, literally, to take a shower, is something no one could have prepared me for.
7. Who needs to eat anyway?
Although this might not be the case for every mom, sitting down to grab a bite can sometimes be challenging.
Throughout the day I find myself catering to every aspect of the house, kids, chores, computer work, which barely gives me time to grab a proper bite.
It is also not rare to find me eating lunch standing by the kitchen counter as I overlook the kids and finish other tasks while I’m eating.
Now that my daughter is 2 and my son 5, my husband and I have managed to create a great family dinner dynamic.
Most nights go uneventful where I am not required to stand up 3 times throughout my dinner.
Some other times however, we are cleaning up spilled water and settling down a screaming toddler because her brother stole a chicken nugget.
8. “Should” is an elusive word
“Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve”.
Questioning yourself about your parenting choices and meeting societal expectations are an ongoing process in motherhood.
Although often inevitable, this mindset can steal our piece of mind.
Living in the moment, embracing your present, and owning your truth is the antidote.
No one could’ve ever prepared me as to how “mom guilt” would have made me feel. Often times, even on on things that are out of my control.
9. The sun had never seemed so beautiful
Ever since I had my daughter over 2 years ago my husband and I decided I would become a stay-at-home mom and take care of the kids full-time.
Although an incredible blessing, the stay-at-home journey hasn’t come without its challenges.
Having worked all my life since the age of 17 (12 of those years as a registered nurse) staying home full-time has been a huge adjustment from a social, professional, and emotional point of view.
Especially in the early baby days, cabin fever was an understatement.
Stepping out of the house and taking a walk by myself seems so much more valuable and meaningful than it ever was.
Enjoying some sunshine, listening to the birds, feeling the wind in my hair… are all things motherhood has taught me to treasure.
10. Embrace your Weird
There many silly and weird things that have sneaked their way into my personality since I had children.
Maybe those qualities were always there and awakened by those two beautiful souls God put in path to care for and protect.
No one could have prepared me for the fun, embarrassing, quirky, and silly moments that have enlighten my life with happiness and laughter.
So, embrace your weird and show your kids it is okay to be themselves.
Next time you find yourself making a funny face, peeing in from of your children, wiping poop off the crib railing, or singing “Baby Shark” at full volume with your kids in your car, remember you are making everlasting memories.
Motherhood at a Glance
Motherhood is a precious and ever-changing roller coaster ride full of surprises and adventures.
No one will ever be able to prepare you for your journey because no one has ever walked it before.
Your motherhood journey is waiting for you. Waiting for you to write your unique story on its empty pages.
Take ownership of the precious blessing God has granted you and make it the best story you can.
If you are a mom, what has motherhood taught you? If you will be a mom soon, what are you looking forward to?
Related article: 5 Ways to Deal with and Avoid Mom Anxiety Naturally